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Community pays their final respects to family of six killed in house fire

Posted at 10:52 AM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 18:34:13-04

Friends and family say their final goodbyes on Tuesday to Mike and Michelle Speer along with their four daughters.

The family of six died in a house fire last Wednesday night in Nehawka.

The funeral will take place at the Calvary Christian Church in Bellevue.

A long line of traffic on Cornhusker Road as mourners arrived at the church. As many as 900 hundred people came out to pay their respects for the six family members.

Over the last few days, we kept hearing how this family left an imprint in a community that wasn't just confined to where they lived. It's clear from the outpouring of community support that the Speer family had an impact on so many in the community.

"It was just heavy in there at times. There was a great sense of peace in there as well. I thought the service overall was amazing - just with that many people to support," said Pastor Andy Turner, Calvary Christian Church. "Just a testament of their lives of how much they loved others and were loved."

But Tuesday morning's service was also a celebration of Mike and Michelle and their four girls - and their lasting legacy of unconditional love.
 
It's also a time of reflection. Mike and the girls loved to fish and spend time outdoors - special memories giving comfort on this difficult day for those who knew the Speers.
 
"You see how many people their lives affected," said Pastor Andy Turner. "Their sphere of influence was so great and so many people that just wanted to be a part of it and wanted to mourn and wanted to grieve the loss."
 
Inside the funeral service, prayer was something that was emphasized throughout on this difficult day for those who knew the Speers.

Friends of the Speer family told KMTV they were encouraged to wear something that reminded them of the family.

Many people wore pink to remember the four young girls: Elli, Adilynn, Emma and Anniston.

There was another group wearing camouflage, in honor of Mike who was an avid hunter.

"Very thankful that mom and dad asked us to dress similarly on how we remember her," said Michelle Zahn, a family friend. "And that's what's helping us through this. We get to mourn together and celebrate the good stuff."

PHOTO GALLERY: Community pays final respects to Speer family. 

On Monday, The Cass County Sheriff's Department said that the fire origin was located in the living room.

They added that the  cause of the fire was a result of ash/embers from the living room fireplace which ignited combustible materials.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by the Perez family to help with funeral costs for 11-year-old Elli, the oldest daughter killed in the fire.

James Perez is Elli's biological father.